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Thread: XTL5000 as a Ham Radio?

  1. #1
    MotoMike No Longer Registered

    Default XTL5000 as a Ham Radio?

    I'm very new to p25 so bare with me.. this may be a very silly question.. I've got an XTL5000 o5 head which states that it can handle 146-178MHz, 10-35 watts power.. Is this radio any good for VHF ham use? If i'm reading this right, it's got the mid to tail end of the 2 meter band for the popular ham channels.. The radio I have has the option K in the 4th digit of the model number.. I'm trying to find a use for this unit I have.. it's a pretty niche market compared to CB/Ham that i'm used to working with.. Thanks.


  2. #2
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    The VHF XTL covers 136-174. There's only one split, unlike the ASTRO Spectra which has the 136-162 (J) and 146-174 (K).

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    While they are excellent radios, they lack many features a ham would use. No VFO to scan in, no reverse button, & most are not programmable from the keypad. For traveling, these features are required, but if you always stay in your home area, & have all the repeater pairs loaded in, you will be fine. While I have a MCS2000, & XPR4550 in my car, when I travel on the road, I install an Icom 2720. GARY

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    The best benefit of the XTL5000 for ham use, is the addition of 64 MPLs (selectable PL tones) with recent firmware, and the ability to have the radio remember the selected tone per channel. With that and the channel capacity, it practically has a VFO.

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    Its a tank of a radio, it far out performs any rice box on the market, and it does P25. What more could anyone ask??
    "God as my witness" - Jeremy Dewitte - Felon

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    Quote Originally Posted by com501 View Post
    What more could anyone ask??
    A VFO to scan for new & interesting radio comms.

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    99% of people who drive around in cars use the same three repeaters day in and day out except on field day.
    "God as my witness" - Jeremy Dewitte - Felon

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    Me too, but when I go out of town, the MCS comes out, & the 2720 goes in. The repeater directory is never up to date. GARY

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    They make an excellent radio for a more "professional" grade approach to the hobby. The convenience of VFO, reverse & other functions may be absent, but you can always take a laptop with you if reprogramming is necessary & practical. It's a good idea to keep a "Japtrak" for frequency agility when you do want to play around or scan. I still use plenty of them, but back myself up with a Motorola, GE or equivalent "professional grade" radio. Typically as a duplex receiver for full duplex operation on UHF, taking advantage of the better front end. Or as a transceiver for P25. The XTL is superbly suited for diagnostics of our various radio systems here, which a couple of us do for quick checks. We've programmed 3 zones incorporating Repeater to Link, Link to Repeater and Link Port Test channels so we can check our duplex links easily. Some sites have as many as 5 or 6 separate links.

    The XTL is a very powerful radio, so I wouldn't hesitate to use it! Just have an idea of what you expect out of it versus what it can do.

  10. #10
    freerider-aust No Longer Registered

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    i use a xtl2500 (basically the same thing) 403-470 and these radios are extremely good and the good thing is you can use it as a scanner on the many moto and p25 trunking systems. it also out performs any ham radio i have and its true most people only use a few ham freqs and if you want more channels there so software mods to get 2000 ch.this forum is a great source of info.i modded mine to do uhf cb in Australia as well